What Every IT Manager Should Know About Finding the Right Desk Booking Solution

  • Author Tanneke Palte, Workplace Experience Sales Lead

Your company has decided to become hybrid. It needs desk booking software for a safe return to the office in the next quarter. And you – in addition to adjusting to the new work model, you’re suddenly taking on duties you never expected to be there.

You’re balancing IT, facilities and workplace experience management, as you are:-

In many ways, you’ve become the architect of the future of your company.

“At the moment, if I’m honest, I don’t think we’re clear on what we need,”

An IT director admitted during a call. He’s not alone.

After surveying 100 executives across industries and geographies, McKinsey discovered that, although 90% of them expected to become a hybrid company, most had no more than a high-level plan, and a third hadn’t been able to reach an internal consensus on what the hybrid workplace would look like.

This lack of clarity increases the risk of taking on a desk booking solution that’s not the right match – either because there wasn’t enough time to research and evaluate the options thoroughly or because you hadn’t considered all your needs and the hidden costs of the solution before implementing it.

To avoid transferring the shortcomings of the previous working setup or imitating a would-be industry standard that doesn’t work for your company, start by identifying the outcome you want to see:

Understanding the end goal will bring you a step closer to identifying the non-negotiables – the core functions needed to support different end users.

To complete this process, make sure the company has defined employee personas based on:
1. Their hybrid work needs and preferences;
2. How often they want to be in the office and what for;
3. How comfortable they are with adopting new technology.

Identify the tech-savvy early adopters that will happily test out the new workplace app as well as the concerns and challenges that keep the rest from doing the same.

Desk booking as simple as ABC

Evidence suggests that continuous iterating of processes is one of the key differentiators of market productivity leaders. It all starts, of course, with user adoption. Besides effective internal communication, it is driven by three factors:

Anxiety around returning to the office (a.k.a. FORTO can be high). People worry about their safety, maintaining a healthy work routine, commuting, finding the colleagues they want to see that day, and locating a desk that matches their needs.

So, to drive user adoption, look for a solution that:

A safe place to return to

A scenario where an employee just pops into a conference room to work for a few hours is no longer acceptable.

As an IT manager put it: “I want to easily see everyone that was sitting here that day because someone there went home sick yesterday.”

What’s more, you need to be ready to change and adjust the office layout rapidly at any given moment.

This level of agility can be implemented by:

To do so, you’ll need an app with

Quick and secure setup

Here’s the main advice IT leaders give on finding the optimal desk booking solution: consider the full cost of implementation.

There’s the obvious:

There are security protocols:

And then there are the hidden costs to consider:

  1. Does the software require purchasing additional hardware or can you integrate it with the existing tech stack?
  2. Is it easily customizable or will it cost additional time and money to manage, especially in the case of a crisis?
  3. Does it promote safety with automations and flexible policy settings, such as notifications to the cleaners once a workspace is no longer in use and the ability to quickly lock an office area?
    Data privacy. If the employees are not convinced that their data is secure and managed responsibly, user adoption rates will suffer.

Real estate optimization

Just imagine this – you come to the office after a year of remote work. You can’t wait to see your colleagues again.

You want to meet your manager too because nothing beats a face-to-face conversation. You grab a coffee to go and commute to the office. All the reasons you hated it suddenly come back to you.

“But it will be worth it,” you tell yourself.

You walk through the office doors, navigate the lines of desks and workspaces, trying to find the perfect spot for the day. And as you do so, you realize something – none of the people you wanted to meet are there.

Waking up an hour earlier to go to the office suddenly feels like a colossal waste of time. You end up spending the day with your headphones on. As the office doors close behind you in the evening, you know – you won’t make the same mistake again.

Failure to set up a hybrid workplace properly will lead to expensive, underutilized real estate, lack of data to optimize the resources you have, and a fall in employee satisfaction and productivity as collaboration becomes more complex and the accumulation of digital static increases anxiety.

Without the right data insights, however, life can be frustrating. It feels like you have no control, no insight into how people use the office, whether it’s working for them or not. You can’t get granular data on which spaces are in high and low demand. You don’t know which features, tech, and integrations work best.

It makes proving ROI very hard:

And that’s on top of soft ROI:

While most use their desk booking app merely to reserve a desk, you could give them the tools to shape their perfect workplace experience:

Space usage insights for improved ROI

Once you’ve achieved that, you’ll be able to:

With a desk booking software that enables all that, you get the results you need:

Wondering what it looks like in practice? We’d love to show you – book a demo here

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